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NEMA halts construction works on the 40 KM Oinobmoi- Barwesa road

The  National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has stopped construction works of 40 kilometers Oinamoi- Kapluk-Barwesa road in Baringo, saying the project was not compliant with the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA).

Speaking to KNA on Tuesday after a consultative meeting with a team of Kenya Rural Roads Authority officials from Nairobi, the contractor SBI international and Baringo Central Sub-county Commissioner, County Director of Environment in Baringo, Josiah  Nyandoro said he gave the orders last week since the project was not licensed.

Nyandoro said the project contravened section 58 of EMCA cap 387 which the agency is mandated to enforce thus they had to take the decision.

“We have agreed with Kerra that once they submit a draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report to our office, we will allow them to resume the operations but as at now any works going on is against the law,” reiterated Nyandoro.

He added that the project subjects the residents to noise and dust pollution as well as risks of injuries and accidents to which the Environmental Impact Assessment report would outline the mitigation measures.

“There are also the risks associated with dumping of waste material and pollution of water bodies all of which the EIA report will ensure mitigation as spelt out in construction, operation and decommissioning of the project,” added Nyandoro.

Nyandoro also stressed that there was no crisis and that they were not enemies of development but were safeguarding the environmental rights and that once their client complied with the legislation framework, the project would continue.

He noted that a meeting convened by the stakeholders was positive move to iron out some of the issues in contention.

He also warned other state agencies and private entities involved in major projects to comply with NEMA act before starting any works on their projects.

“We don’t want to portray any double standards by allowing the government to proceed with works outside legislation. We will treat all entities equally before the law,” added Nyandoro.

He assured that no amount of intimidation from either the politicians or the public would stop them from carrying out their duty.

“We are in the process of stopping many projects and activities that don’t comply with the EMCA regulations among them other major road works construction and buildings by the county government,” informed the NEMA director.

The Sh.2 billion road that was expected to open up Kerio valley area was commissioned by the Deputy President, Dr. William Ruto in July last year and was to be completed in 3 years.

By  Benson Kelio/Christopher Kiprop

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